Uttar Pradesh enters its fourth phase of elections on Wednesday as 14 of its constituencies go to the polls on April 30. A total of 13,43,51,302 people are eligible to vote, of which 44% are female. There are 1,40,259 polling stations. We take a look at seven of its key constituencies:
Rae Bareli: One of the 80 constituencies in the state, Rae Bareli is the most spoken about during elections. The stronghold of the Congress over the past four years, Rae Bareli has seen the the BJP and the Congress fight it out raw. If Congress president Sonia Gandhi wins a seat from here, it will be her fourth win from the constituency. The area has a population of over 1 crore. Historically, Rae Bareli is the heartland of the famous Awadh region. It hosts various tombs and forts, thus making it a popular tourist destination in the state.
Lucknow: It came into existence before the 1951 Lok Sabha elections. The home ground of ex-Prime Minister and BJP honcho Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the city has been a BJP bastion. For the last six years, the BJP has constantly won from this constituency and thus this year too, the NDA is playing it safe by giving BJP president Rajnath Singh a ticket from this constituency. Well connected via major national highways to the other parts of the country, Lucknow has a vast historical and traditional decadence. The land of Nawabs is best known for art, music, drama, dance and literature. The BJP's Lucknow has been a politically sensitive area, because of its proximity to the Congress ruled Rae Bareli.
Jhansi: The land of Rani Laxmi Bai, Jhansi has been a politically critical area since 1952. With the Congess, the BJP and the Samajwadi Party (SP) fighting it out each elections, Jhansi now will decide their fate. The one crore population electorate goes to vote on Wednesday. Technological and infrastructural development in this area may make the Congress a favorite. However, Uma Bharati's presence as the BJP candidate may shake this belief. The North-South corridor and the East-West corridor pass through the city, thus making it geographically important area in the country. Famous for being the centre of Indian independence, Jhansi, due to its vast population will now decide the fate of the contending political parties.
Kanpur: The urban area of Kanpur district goes to polls on Wednesday. With over one crore voters, Kanpur has been ruled by the Congress for the last three terms. Before that, the BJP held prominence. This time, BJP senior leader Murali Manohar Joshi steps into the elections, alongside his Congress counter part and hat-trick winner Shriprakash Jaiswal. Kanpur has set up major educational institutions over the past few years. Its proximity to the Ganges and rich historical history makes it an endearing city to visit. Kanpur is known as the base of industrial revolution.
Mohanlalganj: Reserved for the SC category, the Mohanlalganj constituency has a population of 15 lakh voters. It is spread over the tehsil of Mohanlalganj as well as one seat of Sitapur district. The area falls under one of the 250 most backward districts of the country and receives funds from the central government. Over the past four terms, the Samajwadi Party has held prominence. With major female leaders of the SP contending and winning from this area, this year looks rosy for Sushila Saroj, the SP candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Sitapur: Formed in the year 1952, Sitapur has a count of 12 lakh voters. It has rich Awadhi history and Awadhi is a locally spoken language in the area. Politically, the region has been a BSP favourite. Over the last three terms, the BSP has won the elections and this time the party has nominated Kaiser Jahan, a minority leader. Historically Sitapur has seen Awadhi and Mughal rule, thus the traditions and architecture of the city showcase the same.
Misrikh: The popular constituency has rich Hindu traditions attached to it. It is reserved for the SC category and has close to 14 lakh voters. It is also called Misrikh Neemsar and has been governed by Ashok Kumar Rawat of the BSP. The party has been in force for two terms now. It is located at about 23 km from Sitapur city. Politically, it proves to be important because it is one of the major grounds for the BSP in the state, thus strengthening Mayawati's presence.